Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Carter Hart is spectacular! The Flyers beat the brakes off the Ducks yesterday afternoon to a tune of 6-2. The king of Harts recorded his eight straight victory and has pulled into a tie with Jocelyn Thibault for most consecutive wins under 21 years old. As I write this I can’t fathom the turn around this team has had with Hart between the pipes. I mean I’ve watched it happen and I still can’t comprehend it. Perhaps its the cynic in me that early on wouldn’t allow myself to believe this was for real, that this 20 year old kid would come in an be everything we’ve been hoping for. There’s no two ways about it though and my inner cynic has been silenced.
PHOTO CREDIT: HEATHER BARRY
Hart is the real deal and he is exactly what the Flyers franchise has been looking for since the tragic death of Pelle Lindbergh. I’m not going to sit here and fire a bunch of next gen stats at you to try to prove my point because honestly numbers don’t tell this story. Seeing is believing and all anyone has to do is watch him play and watch any game the team played before him and compare it to now.Saturday afternoon the Flyers came out slow and Hart stifled the Ducks early scoring chances. What happened after? A four goal first period that likely would not have happened had the Flyers fell behind early. Therein lies the difference a star goalie can make. Too many times this season and quite frankly the last few seasons have we seen the Flyers come out sluggish, fall behind, and ultimately never catch up. A goaltender that has his team’s back while they are trying to find their groove inspires and makes them want to play better for him. The Flyers till have a ton of work to do if they are going to make the playoffs. However, as long as Hart is around, that work will be much easier than in previous years.
Do you hear that tick tock? That’s the clock counting down to Phil Myers’ NHL debut. As reported late Friday night by Tony Androckitis of Inside the AHL, Saturday morning Myers was recalled from Lehigh Valley. Anyone who has listened to me on Getting’ Bullied, podcast partner of Philly is Flyer (shameless plug), knows just how high I am on the 22 year old Myers. Have I proclaimed myself the president of his fan club? Absolutely.
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) February 9, 2019
Myers offensive abilities as a defenseman are other worldly. He’s has all the tools, a shot, stick handling, speed, agility, and very good hockey sense. On top of that he is still a very sound player at his position. More times than not he is in position to make a play in his own zone and is excellent at springing the play the other way. This kid has top pair blue liner written all over him and could be there as soon as next year. Undoubtedly there will be some mistakes as he adapts to the NHL, but those mistakes will be few and will be overshadowed by the positives. The Flyers close out their homestand Monday night against Pittsburgh and signs point to that being the debut game of yet another young Flyers stud.
Along with the recalling of Myers, GM Chuck Fletcher made another move early Saturday. Fletcher traded F Dale Weise and D Christian Folin to Montreal for D David Schlemko and F Brandon Froese. This move is less about adding players to help the cause as both Schlemko and Froese will report to Lehigh Valley. With the improving health of Samuel Morin and his ineligibility to go to the AHL without passing through waivers, Fletcher was about to have a log jam at defense that he had to clear up. Weise had been with Lehigh for the last few weeks after clearing waivers himself. Folin, who had been playing regularly early this season with Andrew MacDonald being injured, has been a healthy scratch for months. On the surface this is a minor move, but one that should have a big impact on the future development of the team.
The last month has seemed like a bit of a dream in Flyers land. The eight game losing streak and shake up to the front office and coaching staff seem like a lifetime ago but they were in fact only two months ago. So far this has been one of the most eventful season the Flyers have had in quite some time. It would appear though that the worst is behind us and this team is trending in the right direction.